Your Ultimate Moving Guide

Moving into a new home is an exciting venture, but it does come with its challenges. . The good news is that with the right preparation, it doesn’t have to be an arduous process. Read on for our ultimate moving guide, which details what needs to get done — and when — to help you minimize stress and tackle moving like a pro.

When Should I Start Planning for a Move? 

The moving process will be far more enjoyable if you begin planning at least eight weeks in advance, or as soon as you are given your firm closing date.  

8 Weeks in Advance 

With some time to go before your moving day, now is the time to figure out the logistics of your move and prepare as much as possible. 

  • Begin by researching moving companies in the area, and be prepared to book once you’ve been given your firm closing date. 
  • If you’re unable to keep your current medical practitioners, find a new dentist and doctor. This is also a great time to locate any other essential services you may require in your new area. 
  • If you have children, prepare to enroll them in a new school. Call ahead to ask what documentation is required for a successful transition. 
  • Contact your internet, TV and utility providers in advance to set up services in your new home (have them activate the day of your closing date). 
  • If you need to order new furniture, shop now to ensure that there is enough time for the company to ship and deliver it to your new address shortly after you move in. 
  • Purchase essentials you’ll need for your move, such as boxes, tape and packing paper.

6 Weeks in Advance

With your preliminary research and organization complete, it’s now time to pack for your move. Whenever possible, be selective in what you choose to bring with you to your new home — the more you purge in advance of moving, the more opportunity you’ll have to maximize storage in your new home and carefully curate your space.

  • Start by packing items you don’t use or need on a daily basis, such as off-season clothing or holiday items.
  • Begin packing fragile items. Packing paper, bubble wrap, packing tape and good quality moving boxes are best to use; avoid old towels as they slip easily and cannot be secured with tape. As a general rule, fragile items — such as glasses, plates and even picture frames — should all be wrapped individually. For greater peace of mind, line your moving boxes with packing paper or bubble wrap to help prevent your items from being jostled during the transition. 
  • Go through each room in your current home and decide which belongings you’d like to keep, and which ones you’d like to donate or dispose of. Label each box carefully by the room it’s intended for in your new home, along with a quick note about what it contains.

4 Weeks in Advance

With one month to go, now’s the time to get as much packing done as possible. Make a schedule for yourself so that you can stay on track, and keep record of what’s still left to be done.

  • Pack more of your everyday essentials, paring down whenever possible. Get creative where you can — for example, switching to paper plates will allow you to pack your daily dish set. 
  • Arrange time off work in preparation for your moving day.
  • Contact your financial institution to complete any documents required for your closing, if applicable.

2 Weeks in Advance 

You’re in the home stretch! In a few short weeks, you’ll be enjoying your new home. In the meantime, use this time effectively to double check that everything is in order and wrap up last minute items.

  • Ensure your accounts and services are set to redirect to your new address, and that any utilities for your current home will no longer be linked to you after your moving day.
  • Clear out your fridge and perishables. Shop lightly for the next two weeks.
  • Double check details — confirm the time your movers are scheduled to arrive on moving day.
  • Forward your mail to your new home, with the change set to begin on your moving day. Do the same for any subscriptions you may have.
  • Stay in contact with your lawyer to ensure that they have all the documents and information required to close your home.

A Few Days in Advance 

With only a few days left until your move, all packing should be complete, if not close to it. This is the time to do some final prep work to ensure that the first few days in your new home are as easy as possible.

  • Set aside comfortable clothes for the day of the move.
  • Ensure that electronics such as your phone are packed and charged, and that cords are easily accessible should you need to recharge them.
  • Prepare a few easy meals (like sandwiches) in advance. 

Moving Day

Congratulations! Your moving day has finally arrived. To ensure it’s as seamless as possible, be sure to:

  • Wake up early to cross any lingering items off your checklist before the movers arrive.
  • Do a final sweep of your home to double check that nothing is left in any cabinets, closets or storage spaces. 
  • Oversee the move once your moving company arrives. It’s a good idea to point out any fragile items.
  • Once everything has been loaded into the moving truck, go to your new home and wait for the movers. Upon their arrival, give them a quick walkthrough and let them know which room each of the boxes should go in.
  • Unpack the essentials you’ll need for that evening or the next day, such as your toothbrush or some kitchen items. 

What to Do Before Unpacking Your Belongings 

You’ve got the keys to your home and all your belongings have arrived — time to get settled in! Prior to unpacking, be sure to do a quick clean of your home to remove any dust or dirt that may have been tracked in during the moving process. Additionally, have a room configuration in mind before moving large items like sofas and beds into place; this will ensure that you aren’t wasting time and energy rearranging them more than once.

Tips for Moving with Children and Pets

Moving with children and pets may cause additional stress, but a few small gestures will go a long way to keep them busy while you pack, and get them excited about moving into a new home.

Prior to moving, aim to involve your children in the packing process and explain to them that their belongings are only being put away for a temporary period of time. Be sure to leave one or two of their favourite items or toys unpacked closer to the moving date to keep them occupied, and if possible, unpack a box of their belongings first to ensure they’re similarly engaged as you transition into your new space. 

Like kids, moving pets into a new home and community is also an adjustment. Prior to your move-in date, make time to walk your pet around the community so that they gradually become familiar with their new neighbourhood. Also like children, be sure to also leave a few toys unboxed so that they can play while you pack and unpack your belongings. 

On your moving day, it’s a good idea to leave children and pets in the care of a loved one or babysitter so that your focus is on the move, and to remove the potential for accidents as large, heavy furniture and boxes are being brought into your new home.

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